Can You Identify This Location?

We need the collective help of all GoDCers. A note from GoDCer Jeff (including his friend Alan), included the photo and note below.

Hello Ghosts of DC:

The building on the left of this photo may still be standing in Washington, DC. And the tree lined street on the right might indicate where in DC it was taken.

My brother, Alan, who lives in Ashburn, VA, came across this really cool photo from a collection of our great-grandfather’s, who lived most of his life in Pittsburgh.

He was from Washington, DC, though, and left DC in 1882 to start his family in Pittsburgh, including the birth of our grandfather in 1892. Many of his uncles, aunts and cousins still lived in DC.

Anyway, we believe this photo was taken in DC in 1917 of 1918, two very cold winters in Washington. Caption on the bottom says, it was minus-8 degrees that day.

The full side view of the Model-T, believed to be a 1916 model, is also rare, including its being equipped with chains on the rear tires. The note, “Do you recognize me?,” presumed written by the man on the left, we believe is directed at his father, Joseph Bosworth, our great-grandfather. We think the man on the left is our mother’s uncle, Edward Bosworth, who died less than 2 years later in the flu epidemic of 1919. The other man is in position to crank the engine of the Model-T (that’s how you started those cars). We think he may have been Edward’s brother, Kenneth.

Edward was living in Oregon at the time, so we believe he was visiting relatives in DC. It doesn’t get to 8 below in Oregon. And if it was Pittsburgh, he would NOT have been sending this photo in the mail to his father.

Thanks for any help you can give!

Click on the photo below for a more detailed version, and throw your thoughts in the comments below. I imagine this is going to be a tough one to solve, but if you have ideas, see if they match up with Google Street View. And if anyone is good enough to figure out what days were -8 degrees between 1917 and 1918, you get the prize of being the most resourceful GoDCer!

- click image for more -
Model-T and Bosworth
Model-T and Bosworth

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • misterguess

    Is he Austrian?
    Did he ever live in Fallowfield?
    Does the last name Sphar ring a bell?

  • jeffhert59

    Hi misterguess: No, they were not Austrian. The Bosworths were English, and their great-grandmother was Dutch. The name Sphar doesn’t show up in our ancestry. As for Fallowfield, do you mean Fallowfield Township in PA? I’ll alert my brother to the question.